“Since soul music is my favorite genre of music, when I found out the Soul Revue did black popular music, I definitely had to audition. Everybody else had been in the ensemble for multiple years, so putting me in this environment where I was the new guy, it kind of forced me to have to grow up in a sense,” remembered Miles, who also conducted voice lessons for friends and was the director for theater workshops like OVPDEMA’s Groups Theatre program and the Office of First Year Experience’s orientation musical “Welcome to College!” as an undergraduate. “All of this music was being thrown at me and I wondered, ‘How in the world am I going to do this?’ It was a learning experience, and showed me how to be a better teacher and artist.”

After earning his bachelor’s degree, Dr. Cooper encouraged his protégé to attend graduate school at IU, offering Miles a position as the Soul Revue’s vocal coach and eventually directing Camp S.O.U.L. Dr. Charles Sykes, AAAI’s executive director, has also observed Miles’ development since his days as a student.

“Ignoisco has always displayed tremendous potential, so to watch his development from a talented student into a polished professional has been extremely rewarding. I consider him a model of what the institute aims to accomplish when it comes to seeing students achieve their goals and begin their professional journey,” said Sykes. “His passion for not only his art, but giving back to his alma mater, is very admirable. It’s fantastic that both current and prospective students can be mentored by him, because it wasn’t too long ago when he was in their shoes.”